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City of Kent hires new employee services director

The city of Kent has hired Lorraine Patterson as employee services director.

Patterson replaces Sue Viseth, who retired in January after nearly 28 years with the city. Patterson assumes her new role April 5.

Under the direction of Mayor Suzette Cooke, and as a member of the senior management team, Patterson will be responsible for providing executive leadership and direction for all human resources activities including recruitment, benefits, compensation analysis, labor negotiations, training and risk management, according to a city media release.

“Lorraine brings tremendous experience, knowledge and a spirit of innovation to the city,” Cooke said. “She implemented the first Lean performance improvement project for King County that engaged employees and challenged procedures that inhibited efficiency. We are very fortunate to have a professional with Lorraine’s qualifications join our team.”

Patterson brings more than 13 years of senior and executive level management experience in the field of human resources and labor relations to Kent. She previously served as the Director of Records and Licensing for King County’s Department of Executive Services.

Patterson also has served as assistant director of the Wastewater Treatment Division of King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks and was Human Resources service delivery manager for King County’s Department of Transportation.

A Kent resident, Patterson earned her law degree from Stanford Law School, ini Stanford, Calif. She also holds a bachelor of science in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y. Patterson is a member of the Washington State Bar Association.

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